Medicine Of The Highest Order!

Nishant Mishra, VP - Brand & Digital Marketing, Rainbow Group of HospitalsNishant has over 17 years of experience and his expertise lies in process Improvement, Strategic Planning, Management and many others areas.

Patient Centricity has to be the New ‘P’ for Healthcare Industry
As a caregiver, healthcare has to be seen through the eyes of the patient. The segment already has a lot of anxiety and stress pre-built for a patient. Although the point of contact where the service is dispensed differs in terms of the place being a clinic or a large healthcare facility, the patient traits almost remain common.

Since it is connected with the well-being of an individual, the patient expectation is beyond mere medical advice or a suggestive procedural intervention. The patient expects customized handling, right from taking an appointment, leading into an outpatient consultation, quality of consultation provided, or buying pharmacy, or any tests to be done, all in a seamless front office interaction. In fact we can easily say that every touch point plays an important role in terms of enriching the experience. Looking at the expectation, the healthcare segment has to have an ecosystem that puts the patient right in the center.

This ecosystem needs to have some basic traits like having 24x7 responsiveness, a two-way channel, a strong expectation management system, and an empathetic approach to top it all. The 24x7 responsiveness needs to be across channels responsible for the inflow of the patients. In the modern age, telephony plays a quintessential role in connectivity. The patient wants to have unrestricted access to the facility for a number of actions like appointment, booking or rescheduling, checking the reports online, requesting admission/procedure estimates, and taking a tour virtually/physically. These requirements have become more of hygiene rather than a premium feature. On the other hand, providing such facilities definitely depicts the patient centricity of the hospital. The patient understands that the hospital focuses on offerings and takes their convenience seriously.

In the earlier days, hospitals often ignored the process of making the environment more conducive for the
patient. The management felt that in a tertiary care setup, as long as the medical expectation is fulfilled, the patient should feel that his/her requirements have been addressed. Also, as a medical caregiver, under-standing or setting-up the patient expectation was not necessarily considered a prime deliverable, rather the expectation management started with a one way discussion around the patient's condition in general and that any outcome even slightly positive in nature was considered within the accepted limits.

In today's digital age, there are various sources of information that are at the disposal of the patient, which are often looked at as the initial reference check for occurrence of any symptom. Thus, when the patient walks into the hospital, he/she has some degree of information available. Keeping this in mind, having a system which is more open for discussion often makes the hospital a preferable choice.

A structure which is built around the patient requirements will more or less ensure that the patient feels at ease even during times of emergency or in cases of any procedural interventions. Looking at the outpatient consultation, one can easily com-pare the olden times when you would have had to see a doctor of whom you knew nothing about. A patient-centric system will ensure that there are enough patient testimonials for a particular medical consultant available online. Apart from the qualification details, the system will also showcase all the areas of expertise and interest of a consultant, so the patient can relate better.

Patient centricity is nothing but a form of two way communication where the management keeps the ear to the ground in order to make the system proactive rather than reactive

Showing the medical consultant in this light ensures that he/she is approachable to the patient. Though the medical interaction has now come a long way, in the earlier days too, doc-tors tended to be very friendly and they understood the need to be more sensitive towards comprehending the issue. In a patient-centric system, the doctor is furthermore equipped with multiple avenues like electronic medical records, on-mobile alert system, online OPD queue system, and many more.

Many doctors tend to connect with the patients through communication mediums like SMS and WhatsApp service apart from email. These plat-forms have now become an integral part of patient centricity. Patient centricity doesn't stop at the outpatient consultation. It plays a very import-ant role as far as the inpatient services are concerned. When the medical advice is given to the patient to get admitted to a facility, they have various queries in mind. The need to understand the medical management process, understanding the financial implication, assessing the duration of stay, all of these points weigh heavy on the mind of the patient or the attendant.

A patient-centric system ensures that there is a preset channel going through which a patient will get all of the above queries answered and also the medical team will ensure that the ‘outcome expectation management’ is being done properly. At the time of discharge, proper feedback is collected and collated so that every shortfall in any of the departments is reported and that a concerned staff informs the patient of the response to complete the circle. Patient centricity is nothing but a form of two way communication where the management keeps the ear to the ground in order to make the system proactive rather than reactive.